Ob­jec­tive sys­tem is needed to cal­cu­late min­i­mum wage

China Daily (Canada) - - WORLD -

im­por­tance of im­prov­ing peo­ple’s liveli­hoods and in­creas­ing their sense of gain. Bei­jing News com­ments:

Lo­cal au­thor­i­ties have re­peat­edly in­creased their min­i­mum wage stan­dards over the past few years, a praise­wor­thy prac­tice to pro­tect the ba­sic rights of work­ers.

But rais­ing the min­i­mum wage should not be re­garded as a re­ward be­stowed on peo­ple by the gov­ern­ment. Rais­ing the min­i­mum wage is a con­ven­tional prac­tice car­ried out by many national gov­ern­ments in light of the practical sit­u­a­tion in their coun­tries and eco­nomic laws.

In all, 17 mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties, prov­inces and au­ton­o­mous re­gions raised their min­i­mum wage stan­dards this year. Last year, nine did so.

The de­clin­ing num­ber of work­ers in China has nec­es­sar­ily driven up the cost of la­bor. Statis­tics in­di­cate that the num­ber of peo­ple of work­ing age in China last year dropped by 3.49 mil­lion com­pared with 2015.

Against this back­ground, in­creas­ing their min­i­mumwage stan­dards is not what gov­ern­ments the

should do, but what they have to do, ac­cord­ing to the de­mand-sup­ply la­wof eco­nomics.

In other words, lo­cal gov­ern­ments’ ad­just­ments of their min­i­mum wage stan­dards, which should be proac­tive to bet­ter pro­tect work­ers’ in­ter­ests, lag the changes in the la­bor mar­ket.

But that does not mean sim­ply the higher the min­i­mum wage the bet­ter it is. If the pay­ment thresh­old is too high, em­ploy­ers will have to spend more on la­bor costs which may lead to the col­lapse of in­dus­tries.

A more ob­jec­tive and re­spon­sive sys­tem is needed to cal­cu­late the tim­ing and mar­gin for rais­ing the min­i­mum wage stan­dards in dif­fer­ent lo­cal­i­ties. The lat­est data on the sup­ply-de­mand sit­u­a­tion of the lo­cal la­bor mar­kets, eco­nomic and in­dus­trial de­vel­op­ment, con­sump­tion, tax­a­tion and liv­ing ex­penses should be taken into ac­count, and the data should be up­dated on a reg­u­lar ba­sis.

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